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  In 1852, the nation would elect Democrat "Handsome" Franklin Pierce to the highest office in the land.  Pierce who was a Mexican War general also was known as "the hero of many a well fought battles".  Although he was from New Hampshire, Pierce's campaign was based on support for the Compromise of 1850 & the Fugitive Slave Law.
Pierce defeated another Mexican War icon in the Whig Party's Winfield Scott.  Scott, who was nicknamed "Old Fuss and Feathers" because of his excessive grooming habits, had been the general who captured Mexico City during the Mexican War.  Although he did not really support the Compromise of 1850, he campaigned as though he did in order to get support.  In the end however, "Old Fuss and Feathers" losses his dream of the presidency to Franklin Pierce.

     While president, Pierce focused largely on foreign policy.   He pledged to continue America's Manifest Destiny into Latin America.  Pierce aggressively pursued the annexation of Cuba and the isthmus of Central America.  In light of several revolutions in Europe at the time, Pierce held America up as a model of freedom for the rest of the world.  Pierce also sent Matthew Perry and the American Navy to open Japan up to trade with the United States though the use of gunboat diplomacy.